Vaccine Technologies

Areas of Operation

Diagnostic assays

The unit has know-how and technologies for the design and production of recombinant antigens from all kinds of viruses and microbes. Technologies include proprietary ways for the elimination of cross-reacting epitopes (e.g. in flavivirus diagnostic). These proteins are used for the development of serologic tests, e.g. ELISAs. Other diagnostics are PCRs (e.g. real time PCR) and virus culture.

Rockstroh A, Barzon L, Pacenti M, Palù G, Niedrig M, Ulbert S. Recombinant Envelope-Proteins with Mutations in the Conserved Fusion Loop Allow Specific Serological Diagnosis of Dengue-Infections. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Nov 13;9(11):e0004218. DOI eCollection 2015.

Pathogen inactivation

The unit coordinates a consortium consisting of Fraunhofer IZI and three other Fraunhofer Institutes (FEP, IPA and IGB) for the development of low-energy electron irradiation (LEEI) for the generation of inactivated vaccines or novel diagnostic antigens.

Fertey J, Bayer L, Grunwald T, Pohl A, Beckmann J, Gotzmann G, Casado JP, Schönfelder J, Rögner FH, Wetzel C, Thoma M, Bailer SM, Hiller E, Rupp S, Ulbert S. Pathogens Inactivated by Low-Energy-Electron Irradiation Maintain Antigenic Properties and Induce Protective Immune Responses. Viruses 2016, 8(11), 319; DOI:


A platform for the development and optimization of DNA vaccines was generated. These vaccines are applied using modern technologies, such as in vivo electroporation or nanoparticles.

Schneeweiss A, Chabierski S, Salomo M, Delaroque N, Al-Robaiy S, Grunwald T, Bürki K, Liebert UG, Ulbert S. A DNA vaccine encoding the E protein of West Nile virus is protective and can be boosted by recombinant domain DIII. Vaccine. 2011 Aug 26;29(37):6352-7. DOI Epub 2011 May 17.

Recombinant vaccines

Protein-vaccines are used alone or in combination with DNA immunization (heterologous prime-boost strategies).

Verstrepen BE, Oostermeijer H, Fagrouch Z, van Heteren M, Niphuis H, Haaksma T, Kondova I, Bogers WM, de Filette M, Sanders N, Stertman L, Magnusson S, Lőrincz O, Lisziewicz J, Barzon L, Palù G, Diamond MS, Chabierski S, Ulbert S, Verschoor EJ. Vaccine-induced protection of rhesus macaques against plasma viremia after intradermal infection with a European lineage 1 strain of West Nile virus. PLoS One. 2014 Nov 13;9(11):e112568. DOI eCollection 2014.